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45175 W. TEN MILE, NOVI, MI 48375
(248) 347-0475


The meeting was called to order at or about 7:30 p.m.


Present: Members John Avdoulos, Victor Cassis (arrived late), Richard Gaul, Andrew Gutman, Lynn Kocan, David Lipski, Mark Pehrson, Lowell Sprague

Absent: Member Wayne Wrobel (excused)

Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Tim Schmitt, Planner; Darcy Schmitt, Planner; David Gillam, City Attorney


The meeting attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance.


Chair Kocan said that it was requested of her to move the Audience Participation until after the presentation of the Master Plan.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Sprague:

Motion to approve the Agenda of December 1, 2004 as amended.

Motion carried 7-0.


Matthew Quinn, Novi: Present at the meeting and wished to speak in person at the appropriate time.

William Bowman, Novi: Asked for reconsideration of the Light Industrial master planning of the northerly portion of Section 18. He requested B-2 for the northerly property abutting Catholic Central. He requested that RM-1 and single family zoning be considered for the other Light Industrial property, which he said was more compatible with the surrounding properties. He said that he would meet with the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to explain further why these changes are practical and of greater benefit to the City of Novi.


The Budget Committee met prior to this meeting. Member Gutman was named the chair of the Committee, and he said that the other Committees would be asked to forward their 2005-2006 fiscal year budgetary requests to the Budget Committee in the very near future.

The December Implementation Committee meeting was canceled.


Director of Planning Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission that City Council has asked for additional information regarding the beautification of major thoroughfares.


There was no Consent Agenda.


There were no Public Hearings.



Adoption of the City of Novi Updated Master Plan for Land Use.

Planner Darcy Schmitt displayed a diagram that outlined where changes were made to the Master Plan. These changes are the result of analyzing and applying the input from citizens, Planning Commission and Committee members, City Council members, Staff and Consultants. This is a guide for future development. Balancing land use to establish a diversified tax base that adequately supports facilities and services was considered. The infrastructure capability was considered. Natural features and protection of open space was considered. Establishing and preserving Community Character was also paramount.

A community attitude study was completed for Novi by Eastern Michigan University in 2002. These results provided the starting point. There were two public input meetings (September 29, 2003 and January 24, 2004). Public opinion surveys were available at the meetings, City Hall and on the website.

In May 2004 City Council gave its approval to send the draft Master Plan to the surrounding communities, utility companies and to the County. In August the Oakland County Planning Department prepared a report and endorsed the Master Plan as consistent with the surrounding communitiesí plans.

The Public Hearing was held on October 27, 2004. There are three main issues that the Planning Commission identified for further discussion. First, the northerly properties in Section 18 are designated in the current plan for Office, and in the updated plan for industrial. The owners of those properties have requested residential zoning. Oakland County reviewed this area for Light Industrial and found no conflicts with the uses north of Grand River in Wixom (where the existing uses are a Light Industrial complex and Multiple Family units).

Ms. Schmitt said the far east corner of the section is the Paragon property, which was recently approved for Single Family Residential land use. Directly to the east of that property is the Lakeside Oakland Development property. East of that property is the Morrisette property. Further east is the Goodman property. The lower property is Cadillac Asphalt.

The area to the north is Single Family Residential acreage. Just to the south is R-1, Single Family Residential. The section to the right is also residential acreage. The small sliver to the right of that property is also residential acreage. To the right is Light Industrial, then B-2 community business, B-3 general business, and then Heavy Industrial. Then there is Catholic Central, which is Single Family Residential.

The request from the property owners is for these properties to be master planned for Multiple Family land use instead of the current Office and the proposed Light Industrial. The Growth Management Plan, which is under development, looks at the costs and benefits of different land uses. Ms. Schmitt said that the City has done an excellent job of providing a mixture of land uses to provide a strong tax base with quality services. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee was very conscientious when making these land use decisions. It is the Planning Departmentís position that the Light Industrial land use designation is appropriate for these properties and the Planning Department would not support a Multiple Family designation. If the Planning Commission is not comfortable with adopting the Plan at this time, with these properties designated as Light Industrial, the Planning Department recommends that the land be designated as a Special Planning Area for future research, to determine another appropriate land use designation.

Ms. Schmitt said that the second area in question is near the corner of Ten Mile and Novi Road. This is the "Weiss Property" and has been under the microscope for many years. Ms. Schmitt said that the land owners are comfortable with the Office designation along the front portion (#16), but they would like to see a commercial designation for the balance of item #16 and item #17. The existing Novi Corridor Plan designated the area as a Special Project Study Area. That is the current Master Plan designation for that area. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee looked at the area and changed it to a Light Industrial designation (#17) and Office for #16. In light of the PRO that has been presented, and the Applicant and property owner has worked with the community to design a plan that may work for this area, the Planning Department recommends that this continue to be listed as a Special Project Planning Area. This is due to the controversy surrounding the site, and the lack of substantial evidence that this is not a good site for commercial. The previous plan that designated this land for a Special Project Planning Area had the same concerns that everyone has today. Is commercial appropriate for this area? How much commercial is appropriate for this area? What about the updates to the current infrastructure?

The third area in question (#11) is the area north of Grand River Avenue and west of Novi Road. This area is designated on the updated Master Plan as West Downtown. This designation is destined for further study, for development as a commercial-entertainment-cultural connection to the core shopping area. The citizen surveys indicated that this was a desire, to have more cultural, art and entertainment in the City. This designation will allow the City to study the feasibility of these uses and what benefits it would bring to the community. This designation will not create nonconforming uses, and it will not change the existing zoning. It will give the City a future land use that complements the core shopping area. The City can do more research on culture and art, and how to bring it to the community. The size of this area is appropriate for the designation. The Planning Department recommends keeping the West Downtown designation, both in terms of its size and location.

The other changes proposed have not appeared to cause any conflicts with the Planning Commission or the City Council.


Bill Bowman, Thompson Brown Realtors, 30180 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills: Spoke on behalf of the land owners in Section 18. He said it was extremely important for the Planning Commission to understand that this is not the location for Light Industrial. He said he spoke from experience of developing countless properties. He noted that there are multiple residential units across the street in Wixom, with a density of twelve units per acre. The Paragon property will be developed at the density of about five units per acre. The mobile home park is developed at about eight units to the acres. He said that his client gave some property to Catholic Central, not knowing that it would need to be zoned residential for the placement of the high school. Mr. Bowman proposed that the B-2 and B-3 properties be buffered. He noted the Light Industrial and Heavy Industrial sites in the area. He said that the properties he represents are completely surrounded by a variety of residential densities. Mr. Bowman that the Light Industrial limits the property for "Office-type" uses. It requires a 12-15 foot berm adjacent to the residential. That saddles the land owner. This represents about fifteen acres of land being used for berms. The cost of the berm and landscaping and irrigation is economically impractical. The Planning Commission has the opportunity to name the appropriate density for these properties, and Mr. Bowman asked them not to force an inappropriate industrial classification on the area. It is not good planning and the area cries out for common sense.

Matthew Quinn, 21995 Meridian, Novi: He commented that the area discussed by Mr. Bowman does deserve more study and planning. The Lakeside-Oakland people (#2) and the property to its east should be considered for a special study project area. Mr. Quinn encouraged the Planning Commission to study the area, and remember that the area is complicated but is a key area to the west side of the City. Mr. Quinn then encouraged the Planning Commission to review items #16 and #17. He said he found it unusual that the Walgreens does not show as commercial for that corner. He hoped that was a color typo. The Master Plan for Office along Novi Road is acceptable to Mr. Quinn and his clients, but only to the extent that it goes from Walgreens to the south. The credit union is OS-1, a bank is proposed next to the credit union, and then there is a medical Office next to Walgreens that is being considered. The Master Plan for Office along Novi Road is reasonable, and to a certain depth the landowner would agree. Mr. Quinn encouraged the City to put the commercial designation back on the Walgreens piece. Mr. Quinn said that the Ten Mile frontage is currently under review for commercial, from Walgreens to the railroad track, and south to the natural buffer of Chatman Creek. The Special Project designation was meant to allow time for the road improvements. Mr. Quinn said that the work is now underway and will be complete in spring. The PRO landowner will add a third lane to Ten Mile, along the south side to the railroad track. Mr. Quinn said that the communication between the landowner and the City is still ongoing; they are discussing the appropriate mixture of office and commercial. Mr. Quinn concurred with the Planning Department that the area should remain as a Special Project Area.

Dan Mancuso, 24855 Novi Road: Owns 24 acres south of the post office on the west side of Novi Road. Mr. Mancuso built the infrastructure for Twelve Oaks and really liked Novi. He bought this parcel to house the family business Ė a Heavy Industrial use. The property has 800 feet of frontage, with a depth of about 1,300 feet. He said that the current Master Plan designates his land for Office. He said that the property is buffered on the north by future park property owned by the City and land owned by the post office. It is buffered on the west by a residential community. To the south are wetlands. His property should be considered for residential use. He noted that someone has recently expressed interest in his land for this purpose. The office market is weakened at this time, and the offices along Twelve Mile and Novi Road are competing factors. A well-known residential developer has expressed interest in this site for residential, as it will keep cohesion with the current downtown Main Street development. Residential rooftops will enhance the trade of local businesses and add millions to the tax base. This property is the only property zoned Office on either side of Novi Road from Ten Mile to the northern limits of the City. There are two other Office parcels Ė a wetland parcel near Twelve Mile and the post office. Mr. Mancuso asked the Planning Commission to reconsider this designation, and allow time for this landowner to meet with the City.

Andrew Mutch, 24740 Taft Road, Novi: Thought that public input benefited this process. He said that he hoped the Master Plan reflected that input. He thought there were three themes. First, the citizens want the City to manage growth. Second, the citizens want open spaces protected. Third, the citizens want the City to plan proactively. Mr. Mutch did not think that the build-out population increase of nearly 4,000 people was properly addressed in the Master Plan. He said that these additional 4,000 people would impact the City but this impact was not discussed. The impact will be on police, fire, library, roads, etc. He said this would not be considered planned growth. The west side of the City has low water pressure. The sewer system capacity has been exceeded based on the new projects underway. He said the levels should return to the proposed numbers of the previous Master Plan. He said this may be impossible. He said that the City should look for density reductions, but not by a parcel-by-parcel basis. Mr. Mutch did not think that this Master Plan addressed more opportunities for open space. He said he agreed with Mayor Csordasí comment questioning why the City would want Tollgate Farms to develop. He said that the City should work with MSU to preserve this land long term. Mr. Mutch said that not all of the core reserve near the Links of Novi is preserved. He said a goal should be to preserve all of it. Mr. Mutch said that this Master Plan does not pinpoint locations where more park land should be, and the City is running out of land. Mr. Mutch said that Twelve Mile west of the CSX railroad is not designated as a boulevard, but that concept is warranted with the new Beck Road exchange. Mr. Mutch said that while the scenic drive designation is nice, it is actually detrimental. Mr. Mutch did not think that it made sense to bring Office further south on the west side of Novi Road.

Terry Sever, 34436 Beachwood Drive: Agreed on the change to Office for those parcels on the west side of Novi Road. He said that he represented the owners of the parcels south of the Montessori school. He said it does not make sense to consider the land for residential. There are wetland and floodplain issues. Office would not likely have basements. He encouraged the City to keep the Office designation.


Master Plan for Land Use, contíd

Chair Kocan thanked previous Planning Commission members Tim Shroyer, Gwen Markham, David Ruyle and Larry Papp for their contribution to this plan.

The Narrative

Chair Kocan asked whether page numbers and additional information would be provided in the final draft. Ms. Schmitt responded affirmatively.

Chair Kocan asked about Figure 35, the Natural Features Plan that replaces the Wildlife Habitat Map. Ms. Schmitt responded that she had been waiting for Oakland Countyís verbiage to insert on that page. It will include a summary of the Countyís information and how to access the website for further information.

Chair Kocan asked about the inclusion of the Capital Improvement information. Ms. Schmitt replied that the Growth Management Plan includes a summary of the anticipated growth and the funds necessary to support that growth. It will be a separate document from the Master Plan. It will include Capital Improvement information. The models used in the Growth Management Plan can be updated as new facts emerge.

Chair Kocan asked about the Parks and Recreation information. Ms. Schmitt responded that they have their own extensive Master Plan and this Master Plan only refers to that Departmentís main goals.

Chair Kocan said that the City is seeking the ideal mix of commercial, industrial, residential and Office. She said that the City cannot afford to make everything residential. The City would have to find a replacement to support the tax base. Chair Kocan said the City Council had forwarded their comments and that the Planning Commission would hopefully address those comments at this meeting.

Member Sprague suggested that motions be made after each review, if in fact the Planning Commission chooses to alter the item from what is currently proposed in the Master Plan. City Attorney David Gillam advised the Planning Commission that whatever method the Planning Commission chooses is fine, the ultimate issue is the motion adopting the Master Plan. He told the Planning Commission that they could proceed with a show of hands, or a motion, or whatever method works best for them. Member Sprague suggested that if a change is going to occur on any of the talking points, that an indication of this change should be noted for ease in formulating the final motion to adopt the Master Plan.

Member Avdoulos noted that this new Master Plan does not stop future Applicants from coming forward and asking for changes in their propertyís designation. Things do change, and the Master Plan is a living document. Director of Planning Barbara McBeth confirmed that statement. The plan remains that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee will look at future requests and continue to make recommendations to the full Planning Commission. Member Avdoulos said that he understood the Master Plan and Zoning Committee looked at each section of the City during this Master Plan process. Over the years, things change and that will continue to happen, through the change of Planning Commission members and ownerships of properties.

Member Avdoulos asked about the properties that abutted other municipalities and their notification of changes. Mr. Gillam said that once the Planning Commission adopts the Master Plan, any subsequent amendments to any designations on the Master Plan will have to follow the same process that has been used up to this point. This includes notification to the adjacent communities, utilities, the County, etc. The Planning Act reduces the review time for extensions or additions to this full Master Plan update.

Member Lipski asked whether the "Special Project Planning Area" is the Planning Commissionís way to buy time for that particular area. He asked if the subsequent change to these areas circumvents the complicated process. Ms. Schmitt answered affirmatively. She said those areas deemed with that designation have a history and the City hasnít come to a conclusion, though it has been a forward process. Member Lipski thought it was helpful for the Planning Commission to know that uncertain sections can come to a future resolution without holding up the entire Master Plan update. It also provides the Applicant with a "fair shot." Ms. Schmitt said that was exactly what the City hoped to do. Mr. Gillam agreed.

Chair Kocan asked if it would be considered a rezoning (redesignation) to go from a Special Study to an actual zoning at a future time. Mr. Gillam said it would not be a redesignation. There is no designation being made on those parcels at this time. She restated her question, asking if a future request would change the Master Plan designation from the "Special Study" status or from the previously stated Master Plan designation.

Member Cassis said he did not believe there was such a Master Plan designation as "Special Study." Ms. Schmitt stated that the Weiss property is currently master planned as a Special Project Area. If that remains, which originally came about through the Novi Road Corridor Plan, the Master Plan will just explain that this designation remains because of the reasons that would be listed. Member Cassis asked to confirm, that in the case of the Weiss Property, the designation will be Special Project Area, not the previously stated Light Industrial. Ms. Schmitt said that was correct.

Member Lipski asked about the designation again. Mr. Gillam asked if he meant the criteria or the process. Member Lipski asked for both, as both were important. Mr. Gillam said the burden is no different, for a property to go from Special Planning to another designation. He did wish to point out that the Special Planning designation is meant to be temporary. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee, Planning Commission and Planning Department should try to put those areas on a fast track for an official designation. Member Lipski said that because the Special Planning isnít really a designation, it should benefit an Applicant who wishes to change his zoning from that, as opposed to the property having an official designation. Mr. Gillam responded that if he understood Member Lipski, then he would say that Member Lipski was correct.

Member Cassis said that it would be advantageous to the Applicant. It already suggests that the propertyís designation is in the process of being changed. Ms. Schmitt said the designation is being used on properties where there is a history and there has been an attempt. Ms. Schmitt said the designation suggests that the City is moving in a direction but is still not comfortable with where they are. Mr. Gillam said that in a rezoning request on such a property, the Applicant would not have the benefit of rezoning to the stated designation; on the other hand he would not have to overcome an inconsistent designation on the property.

Chair Kocan was uncomfortable with the Special Study designation. She said that if there is no Master Plan designation to change, there isnít a solid document in front of the Planning Commission that tells them what the property should be. She was going to be stingy about which property received the Special Planning designation. She saw it as a bigger problem than solution. It takes control away from the City and gives it to the developers, and gives them the ability to develop the property any way they want to. There is nothing the Planning Commission can say because there is no document that says this is how the City perceives the appropriate manner in which a property should develop.

Member Sprague said that the controlling feature on a parcel is its zoning, not its Master Plan designation. If an applicant wants to develop the land in a certain manner other than what is currently allowed, he still has to request a zoning change. Special Planning doesnít give carte blanche. He did not consider the designation to be as loose as Chair Kocan considered it. Ms. McBeth agreed. She also explained that the PRO, Planned Rezoning Overlay, is a zoning tool with which the zoning on the property would stay in place. The Master Plan is a guide to the future zoning of properties.

Mr. Gillam continued that the historical designation can be revisited, for the purposes of the Master Plan. The Special Planning designation does not necessarily mean that the prior designation was wrong, it merely indicates that it is an area at which the City is going to take a closer look. There is nothing to say that a property that is planned, i.e., Light Industrial, and is changed to Special Planning, will not return to Light Industrial after review.

Member Lipski understood that an adoption this evening would set 95% of the Master Plan in stone, and the other 5% would be further reviewed.

Member Pehrson asked if the Special Project designation slows the process down, in light of the fact that the surrounding communities and County have to review the Master Plan. Ms. McBeth said that the County and the communities have already commented on the Master Plan. Once another change is proposed for the Master Plan, i.e., the determination of a Special Project Area, the plan would go back out for review, but at an accelerated pace. Member Pehrson felt uneasy in using the Special Project designation. He would prefer to give an actual designation.

Chair Kocan understood Member Pehrsonís point, especially regarding land that abuts an adjacent community. She said that perhaps the Planning Commission can reach a consensus at this meeting, or at least everyoneís thoughts can be made known. She said that she would try to keep the meeting focused on the controversial sections. She said most of the changes are reactive changes Ė situations that were rezoned and are developing already.

#1 Paragon Property in Northwest Corner of Section 18: Office to Single Family Land Use

This property is a Consent Judgment, the Paragon Property. Chair Kocan confirmed with Ms. Schmitt that this change is actually "after the fact."

#2 Six Properties Just East of Northwest Corner of Section 18: Office to Light Industrial Land Use

Chair Kocan said that the change in the upper northwest area of the City is a Master Plan change from Office to Light Industrial. The Staff supports Light Industrial or Special Project Planning. The developers who have been working on land in that area have requested a Multiple Family zoning or a Special Study Area.

Member Sprague said it was a difficult spot and the Multiple Family request must be further studied. He was not in favor of just changing it to Multiple Family. He would support Special Study Area, as there are arguments to be made that support the Planning Commission taking a closer look at it. Member Sprague asked if the Master Plan and Zoning Committee looked at this site and thought it should be left alone because the decision hadnít been made yet on the Paragon property, or did they look at it and think that industrial is what the property should be. Ms. Schmitt said the Master Plan and Zoning Committee was comfortable in changing the land to Industrial. There was discussion in the past that the area wasnít good for Office because offices need more exposure than a Light Industrial use. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee was opposed to any type of residential, especially Multiple Family. Changing it to Special Project Planning would give the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and Planning Commission time to re-look at the area, but the Master Plan and Zoning Committee was very comfortable with the Light Industrial. Member Sprague said he did not know what the best use was, but he was willing to spend more time in review. He did not want another dense use Ė that would not serve the City well.

Member Lipski agreed with Member Sprague, but thought that the request to make the area Special Study included the parcel to the east. Planner Tim Schmitt said that the request was for a total of six properties. Chair Kocan confirmed with Member Lipski that he would support the area being tagged as a Special Study area.

Member Sprague asked if all six properties mentioned by Mr. Schmitt were currently tagged as industrial. Ms. Schmitt said that it was all of the Light Industrial properties, including Cadillac Asphalt. Mr. Schmitt said it also included part of the commercial properties, because he said the properties arenít split along the zoning lines. Member Sprague asked if the Planning Commission had the option of defining the Special Planning Area differently than the lot lines. Mr. Schmitt answered affirmatively. Member Sprague said that before the area was defined, heíd like to hear from the other Planning Commission members.

Member Cassis hoped that the future may hold a consolidation of this land. Something might emerge with which this Planning Commission might agree.

Member Avdoulos thought the reason why this property was designated Light Industrial was because the property to the west was already Light Industrial. There is a desire to have a larger area to work with. He asked how the Paragon property is going to be developed. Mr. Schmitt said that there will be 352 single family homes on 74 acres. These will be 50-foot wide lots by 100 feet deep. Member Avdoulos said this would be a big density pool. Some of the property that is being discussed is zoned R-A and R-1. There is already a residential zoning attached to this land. Member Avdoulos also noted that Catholic Central is in the area, and perhaps the plan should be to buffer that area, e.g., the football stadium in the upper northwest corner, from residential. He reiterated that the land is zoned R-A and R-1. If the Planning Commission prefers to make the area a Special Study Area that was fine with him, but he did not think it was as critical. He said it is not like the situation cannot be worked out if a good solution is brought forward. Member Avdoulos said that area is broken up into bits and pieces of different zoning and he thought that the one designation as shown is appropriate and whoever wants to come forward and keep talking to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, the Committee is amenable to that. He said that Paragon was considered. Catholic Central was considered. The mobile home park to the south was considered. All of the congestion in the area was considered. Trying to designate this area as one classification to reduce the density and allow that area to be developed differently was the thought. His preference was to leave the designation as is.

Chair Kocan commented that the Paragon propertyís acreage of 74 was being planned for 350+ homes. She asked what the acreage was on the subject property. Mr. Schmitt said that the main parcel is 64 acres. There is a one acre outlot. The two narrow properties are ten acres and five acres. This is a total of about 79 acres. Half of this is zoned R-1 and half is zoned R-A.

Chair Kocan said that Member Avdoulos made a lot of sense. It is currently zoned residential, but there is rationale for the Light Industrial. Her concern was the increase in density. This is the first of many requests for an increase in density. If this is made a Special Project Area, the Applicant would have to come forward and let the Planning Commission know what the request is for, in order to get additional housing.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Avdoulos:


Motion to have #2 master planned Light Industrial for Land Use.

Motion fails 4-4 (Yes: Avdoulos, Gaul, Kocan, Pehrson; No: Cassis, Gutman, Lipski, Sprague).

Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Gutman:

Motion to change the Master Plan designation for the area containing six tax parcels listed as Item #2 to a Special Planning Project Area.


Member Cassis wished to allay the fears of the Planning Commission. He said that they are not committing to anything by listing the area as a Special Planning Project Area. The decision will have to come back to the Planning Commission. He was thinking that with Catholic Central in the area and the various zonings existing in the area, it is beyond the Planning Commissionís means to crystallize their thinking as to what they really, definitely want to do in that area. There are different owners. Mr. Schmitt said that there are four owners. Lakeside Oakland Development owns 44 acres. Mr. Morrisette owns ten acres. Mr. Goodman owns five acres. Cadillac Asphalt owns 5.2 acres.

Member Cassis asked what would happen if Catholic Central someday seeks to expand into the residential realm, similar to what has happened at Cranbrook. He did not know if that could ever be possible, he was just thinking futuristically. However, if something ever came forward that was a good thing and practical for the City, the Planning Commission could think it was wonderful. He has seen this City transform into many different ways in the three decades he has been around. Now, everyone wants residential because that is what is selling. How about tomorrow? How about six months from now? He did not know. What might come before the Planning Commission? Someone might have a plan. He said the Planning Commission is not committing to anything.

Mr. Schmitt described the six parcels: In the west, the Lakeside Oakland parcel is 50-22-18-100-006; the Morrisette parcel is 50-22-18-100-004; the Goodman parcel is 50-22-18-100-005; another Lakeside parcel is 50-22-18-200-001; the Cadillac Asphalt parcel is 50-22-18-200-003; the B-2 Community Commercial property is part of 50-22-18-200-014 and owned by Catholic Central.

Chair Kocan is an advocate for residents and does not support Light Industrial adjacent to residential. Here she says, she is considering changing Residential to Light Industrial, or to a Special Project Planning Area. Previously it was master planned for Office. She said she probably couldnít support the Light Industrial, based on the statement she made previously. This is one Special Project Area she could give on, but there are other areas she will not.

Mr. Schmitt asked to clarify that the motion includes the described parcels. Chair Kocan agreed.


Motion to change the Master Plan designation for the area containing six tax parcels (the Lakeside Oakland parcel is 50-22-18-100-006; the Morrisette parcel is 50-22-18-100-004; the Goodman parcel is 50-22-18-100-005; another Lakeside parcel is 50-22-18-200-001; the Cadillac Asphalt parcel is 50-22-18-200-003; the B-2 Community Commercial property is part of 50-22-18-200-014 and owned by Catholic Central0 listed as Item #2 to a Special Planning Project Area.

Motion carried 6-2 (Yes: Cassis, Gaul, Gutman, Kocan, Lipski, Sprague; No: Avdoulos, Pehrson)

#3 Catholic Central Parcel in Section 18: Office to Educational Facility

Chair Kocan said this was a housekeeping issue to make the designation appropriate.

#4 Novi Promenade Parcel in Section 17: Office to Local Commercial

Chair Kocan said this was the Target Property, coming into conformance with the way the land was developed.

#5 Providence Property in Section 17: Light Industrial to Office

Chair Kocan asked whether discussion was necessary; there was no request to do so from the other members of the Planning Commission.

#5a Wizinsky and Profile Steel properties In Section 17: Light Industrial to Single Family with a density of 4.8

Chair Kocan said this is known as the Wizinsky Property, and also includes Profile Steel (zoned I-2). Chair Kocan asked if the residential density map must be voted on as well. Ms. Schmitt said that this was the entire change, changing the designation to R-T with a density of 4.8. The density would be included.

Member Avdoulos said the Master Plan and Zoning Committee looked at a concept plan for this property. In light of the school property (Catholic Central) across the street, and Island Lake across the street as well, the Committee determined it was more appropriate for this residential parcel to act more as a buffer or border to the school, instead of an industrial user. Additionally, Member Avdoulos said that this parcel is deep enough that it nearly reaches Providence. There are some studies to provide a different type of development at Providence. If these two designs could interconnect somehow, it would be a good thing for circulation and would create more of a community. The presentation to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee indicated that the Wizinsky home would be preserved. That would be a favorable thing. Member Avdoulos said the plan was very appropriate. The 4.8 density represents R-T zoning.

Member Cassis agreed with Member Avdoulosí comments. He said it was a win-win situation. Woodlands would be preserved. A lovely home would be preserved. Mr. Wizinsky will be happy. This is a transitional use, ideal for the school and the area. He would support this change.

Member Sprague said that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee thought it was a great use for the oft-discussed property. He would also recommend this change.

Chair Kocan asked if the Committee discussed extending the commercial zoning south to this parcel. Ms. Schmitt said that the Committee discussed every possible designation. The R-T zoning is designed to act like a transition. It is not as high of density as multiple. It still works as a transition from commercial. Chair Kocan asked how many units the property would yield. Ms. Schmitt said their rough plan indicates a possibility of 160 units.

Chair Kocan said that the change before them was from Light Industrial to Single Family Residential, with a density of 4.8. She said this was a difficult decision. She felt the resident was wronged when Target was built. The argument has always been that Residential doesnít belong next to Commercial. These are two conflicting scenarios. She recalled their discussions about Eleven Mile, and how it canít support much more traffic. It is a curved, two-lane road. The impact must be looked at. She asked if the Residential would be less impact to the area than a commercial development. She had to agree that there is parkland and a school. The R-T does serve as a buffer. If Profile Steel will move, that would be an advantage. The City is looking to move Heavy Industrial away from the Residential areas. It seems there is a consensus from these particular industries that they would all be amenable to moving their operations should other developers be able to put some parcels together for a development. She supported the proposal.

Member Avdoulos said some people have anxiety when you discuss commercial and residential and Light Industrial. It is all in the type of residential that is being proposed. With this type of density, one can expect more of a townhome-type development. There is a market for this. The area proposed, from Ten Mile north to Grand River, is nice residential, with the exception of Cadillac Asphalt, which is a heavy industrial user. Thereís the school, then higher residential, then shopping and convenience to the expressway. This proposal nicely transitions itself to the Grand River/Wixom Road area. Sometimes there are mixed feelings, but to look at removing a heavy industrial user away from a school must be considered. The proposal for this property also preserves an historical element.

Member Cassis said that the steel company does not belong in that area. Those owners want to either upgrade that property or move out.

Chair Kocan said there was consensus on 5A.

#6 Providence Property in Section 17: Single Family to Office

This is the southerly border of the Providence property. There was no discussion.

#7 Vision Spa in Section 16: Multi-Family to Office

This change is to update the Master Plan to reflect a zoning change and use of the property.

#8 Grand River Property in Section 16: Light Industrial to Office

There was no discussion.

#9 Legacy Parc in Section 30: Quasi-Public to Single Family

This is currently the golf course; this represents the property becoming Legacy Parc.

#10 Taft Road Properties in Section 22: Density from 3.3 to 1.65

Chair Kocan said this property is between Clark Street and Taft Road, on the north and south sides of Eleven Mile, and the change is to the density.

#11 Grand River Properties in Section 15: Heavy and Light Industrial to West Downtown

This is the existing Expo Center and the surrounding area.

Member Sprague said he whole heartedly endorsed this change. He said this is the opportunity for the City to put a Performing Arts Center in. This appeals to him, although he didnít know how to make that happen. He said this was an important corner, and the City definitely doesnít want Heavy Industrial. This would be a great location for civic pride.

Chair Kocan said City Council commented that the West Downtown area could be extended westward along Grand River along the north and south sides of the road. There was another recommendation to limit the area to the area east of the railroad track. Chair Kocan asked if the properties on the west side of the track would be landlocked if the West Downtown master planning were to stop at the railroad track. Mr. Schmitt said there are three parcels on the west side of the tracks in the West Downtown designation. One is Haroldís Frame Shop and a Cell Tower. The rear of two storage yards are the other two properties. They would not be landlocked.

Chair Kocan asked whether the Master Plan and Zoning Committee ever recommended going west all the way to the new Expo Center. Member Sprague said that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee recommends the designation as seen on the map.

Member Avdoulos said that Gwen Markham and Member Sprague discussed the concept of a Performing Arts Center at the Master Plan and Zoning Committee meetings. The theatre group has to share its space here at the Civic Center. This is a prime spot and everyone knows its location. It is readily accessible off the expressway and has visibility. Everyone knows the water tower. This is an area that the City should work at making viable. Member Avdoulos said he did not know whether the west border should be at the tracks, as shown on the plan, or extended to Taft Road. However, he wished that the City would consider addressing another of their projects Ė The Town Center Ė as there are sections of that area and along Main Street that need boosting. Whatever is designated, he wanted to ensure that the City effort was afforded to the plan. The area is prime and is visible from the expressway. Whoever travels along this corridor knows exactly where they are when they see this corner. If the corridor is successful east of the track, he couldnít see why the border couldnít be continued. As it is designated on the subject Land Use Map could also be successful, and he would like to clean up the Grand River corridor. With the new Expo Center and the proposed hospital down the road near the new overpass, the Family Fun Park is under construction, things are starting to happen and it would be nice to lose or relocate some of the Heavy Industrial.

Member Cassis added that when an area is re-designated, the importance of the land, or the appreciation of the property, might attract more quality development. He said that there is some existing machinery on one of those parcels that is decaying. He said the current land owner may be approached by someone interested in putting in entertainment. He asked, "Why not extend the boundary all the way to Taft Road?" This would make the area more appreciated and coveted by developers who might want to do something great. That would equate to more taxes and would employ more people. He would support the boundary as proposed, but said that maybe in the future it could be extended to Taft Road.

Chair Kocan noted that she liked "Downtown West" better than "West Downtown" (both terms were used in the Master Plan document) and the other Planning Commission members nodded in agreement. She said this is developing similar to the Gateway East designation. Downtown West is meant to be the commercial, entertainment and cultural connection to the shopping area. This designation will allow the community to define the uses and study the feasibility of the uses for the community as a whole. There will be the need to develop an Ordinance around this designation.

Member Cassis said that hopefully all the small parcels, and the problems associated with developing those small parcels, could be eliminated by someone consolidating the parcels for Downtown West.

Chair Kocan called for a short break.

#12 Twelve Mile Office Properties in Sections 15 and 16: Addition of Non-residential Collector Road between I-96 and Twelve Mile

Chair Kocan asked if this is the Cityís responsibility to build the road. Ms. Schmitt said the intent would be for property owners to build the road. She figured this would be open to negotiation. Chair Kocan felt there was consensus on this change.

Member Cassis asked where the road would be. Ms. Schmitt said this would be the extension from West Oaks and would run north of and parallel to I-96. There are wetlands and other things that would have to be worked around, once the area begins to develop. Ms. Schmitt said it might be logical to use the old Taft Road as the connection.

#13 Liberty Park in Section 10: Park to Single Family Residential

This is meant to correct the Master Plan to be in sync with the proposed use of this land, which is the result of the Sandstone settlement. There was consensus on that, Chair Kocan said.

#14 Novi Road Property in Section 22: Office to Park

Chair Kocan said this was park land north of the post office. It is vacant land that is mostly wetland. Ms. Schmitt said the City hopes to use it as a linear park.

Chair Kocan said it was discussed and designated as park land during the Novi Corridor Plan review.

Member Lipski confirmed that the gentleman who spoke earlier in the evening was discussing a parcel in proximity to this land.

#15 Novi Road Property in Section 27: Single Family to Office

Chair Kocan asked if this was the parcel north of the Montessori School. Ms. Schmitt said it was the Montessori School. From the audience, someone stated that it was north of the school, and made the Office designation in the area contiguous. Chair Kocan asked for clarification. She said that a resident asked that it remain residential, but the land owner said that Office makes a lot of sense. Chair Kocan then asked if this parcel lined up across from Arena Drive. Mr. Schmitt said that it was the church just north of Mystic Forest. Member Cassis said that it was not the church. Chair Kocan then said it was the parcel south of the Montessori School. Chair Kocan asked whether the Planning Commission wished to discuss it; no one said yes so the Planning Commission went with the recommendation.

#16 Weiss Property in Section 26: Light Industrial and Local Commercial to Office

Chair Kocan said this is the parcel east of Novi Road, south of Ten Mile. She had a note in her paperwork to remind her that this designation should not include the Walgreens property. Chair Kocan said this has been a Special Study Area. The developer is on the record as agreeing with the Office Designation. There was consensus from the Planning Commission so Chair Kocan moved on.

#17 Weiss Property in Section 26: Local Commercial to Light Industrial Land Use

Chair Kocan said this was the area east of Walgreens, which runs to the railroad track along Ten Mile. It had been designated as a Special Study Area via the Novi Road Corridor Plan. The recommendation for this property is now Light Industrial. There have also been suggestions to leave the land designation as Special Study. The developer would ideally like this land master planned for commercial.

Member Lipski confirmed that this is exclusively a Planning Commission discussion. Member Lipski asked if anyone could recall what exactly was the developerís wishes. Were they requesting the Special Study designation for this and the #16 talking point? (end of tape)

Ms. Schmitt said it was configured but did not finish her statement. Mr. Schmitt stated that #16 included both Ten Mile and Novi Road frontage. Ultimately, the Special Project area that was previously in place was the entire Ten Mile frontage. By leaving the Special Project Area in place, the boundaries would have to be modified for both #16 and #17.

Chair Kocan said that the developer did accept the Office designation along Novi Road. Mr. Schmitt agreed. Mr. Quinn, representing the land owner, said that for the purpose of the Master Plan, it would be from the east boundary line of Walgreens to the south. The rest, he requested, could return to the Special Planning designation. He also offered that the entire parcel could be returned to Special Planning.

Member Cassis asked Mr. Quinn whether the one hundred feet or so adjacent to the railroad tracks really wasnít better suited for industrial. Member Cassis was trying to say, for the advantage of the petitioner or developer, it would be more practical to place industrial along the railroad track.

Mr. Quinn disagreed. He said the river runs through that area. Right along there, there is a natural buffer between the track and the first outlot, the driveway and the grocery store. Mr. Quinn said that the area Member Cassis is asking about is the area for the grocery store.

Member Cassis asked how much space was between the little road and the railroad track. Mr. Quinn said about sixty or one hundred feet. It is part of the Weiss property. It will remain natural. The first outlot abuts that natural area, then comes the driveway, then the grocery store.

Member Lipski said that it is on the record that he is in favor of the development that has been proposed for this property. He wished to make it clear, what items #16 and #17 represented. Mr. Quinn said that the Master Plan prior to the Novi Road Corridor Plan listed all of Ten Mile frontage as commercial. All of the Novi Road frontage was commercial. The Special Project Area included all of that area. Their rezoning request was turned in for "Special Project Area." At the time it was placed there, the thought was to coordinate the Office with the commercial and make sure that the infrastructure could handle it. Then, the decision could be made on how much commercial was necessary. Mr. Quinn and Member Lipski agreed that was for #16.

Mr. Quinn said that #17, the Commercial and/or Special Project designation, runs along the entire frontage from the railroad tracks to the Walgreens. The landowner would accept the removal of commercial from the Novi Road frontage. Member Lipski asked if that was what Chair Kocan was stating earlier, and Mr. Quinn said that it was, except that the width of the property was not shown correctly. He said that the "blue" area should be flush with Walgreensí easterly property line. The rest should be commercial or Special Planning Project.

Member Lipski thought this was complicated, and he did not know what could be done at this meeting to sever the property and make the Master Plan consistent with the landownerís request.

Moved by Member Lipski, supported by Member Gutman:

Motion to designate Items #16 and #17as Special Project Areas.


Member Sprague said that in general, he would support the motion, but he would rather see that section of land south of Walgreens be designated as Office. He thought that would be acceptable to the landowner, and it gave the Planning Commission the flexibility it needed to move forward, while providing the right use along Novi Road. Member Lipski agreed to the change, as did Member Gutman.

Chair Kocan asked if parcel ID numbers were required. Mr. Schmitt said that this is one of the few areas of Novi that is all under one tax ID. Mr. Schmitt suggested that the Office designation be placed on the land within Novi Road and the boundary that would run south of the southeast corner of the Walgreens property to the northeast corner of the credit union. Member Lipski and Member Gutman agreed to that description.

Member Avdoulos said the zoning map indicates that Item #17 is Light Industrial. #16 is zoned as Office. Walgreens is zoned B-1. Member Avdoulos was unsure how it was that the Planning Commission was in position to barter to accept one section as commercial and one section as Office. Ms. McBeth showed Member Avdoulos an old Master Plan for Land Use Map and explained that the lighter pink was Light Industrial and the darker pink was Heavy Industrial. Member Avdoulos said that the default zoning is what is there presently. He said it may have been at that time the idea was the corner would be viable for a commercial entity. Things change. He knew what the proposal was for this site, and he looked at where shopping is already located in proximity to this land. He said the community is surviving with a Kroger and Grand River and Beck, a Hillers in downtown Northville, a Farmer Jack at Ten Mile and Meadowbrook and Meijers at Eight Mile and Haggerty and Grand River and Wixom. Even with the construction in this area, Ten Mile is going to stay one lane in each direction. There is concern about having a driveway close to the intersection. There is concern for left-hand locks. Although commercial seemed viable at one time, things have evolved. Member Avdoulos said that he has seen developments lately that have not been thought through. He said that some of the Planning Commission members have discussed something like this happening on Novi Road, just further up. Because of the location of this site and the trains that go by, Member Avdoulos would prefer to leave the designation as is. Itís zoned the way it is. The Planning Commission can work through the plans to see how the project develops. He was comfortable leaving the Master Plan designation in sync with its current zoning. He said this project will add congestion. The traffic is not getting better. It is getting worse. He said that the City is creating a situation where they should be careful. People are moving into the area because of the homes and the schools. The City should alleviate some of the traffic concerns but as the City gets built out it is becoming more evident that traffic is an issue. He was not comfortable leaving this land as a Special Project.

Member Sprague said that his idea was not to review the proposal for this land at this meeting. This is a complicated parcel and there is a lot going on there and it is important for the City to give it timely consideration. To him, leaving it the same does not change the Master Plan to match the zoning. He meant it should stay as a Special Planning section. It said it is a matter before them and it will be resolved fairly soon. Further, on that matter, the Planning Commission makes a recommendation to City Council. From what he has heard, the proposal is not a slam dunk at the City Council level. Member Sprague said it was important to give the City Council the flexibility it needs to make their decision.

Member Cassis said he was prepared to give a certain decision at the onset of this meeting, but now certain revelations have been revealed. He was confused about what the previous designations were for that site. Then, Ms. McBeth showed the map with the commercial. Member Cassis said that Mr. Quinn made a presentation at a previous meeting. The Planning Commission can not go around now and tamper with shuffling commercial from one side to the other. Those parties will come back and say that is not legal. Member Cassis asked if he was conveying something, and whether he could have an answer.

Mr. Gillam responded that Mr. Quinn had previously expressed his concern that the pending Master Plan review might prejudice his application for this site. It was Mr. Gillamís recollection that the Planning Commission had agreed not to hold any change on the Master Plan against the Applicant.

Chair Kocan said that the previous discussion acknowledged that his point was well taken, but it was not part of the motion. Chair Kocan said the Planning Commission wanted to remove the Master Plan from consideration at future discussions. She did not agree.

Mr. Gillam said that the Planning Commission is always free to change the designation on the Master Plan, as long as there is no showing of bad faith to the Applicant, i.e., that something is done in particular to prejudice the individual. That is a general rule. He said he was not at the meeting, but the minutes would speak for themselves.

Member Cassis said that the Planning Commission can designate and master plan. There were previous Master Plans. He asked if it was fluid enough for the Applicant to contest anything in the future. Mr. Gillam did not know whether he understood the question.

Member Cassis said he has seen lawsuits all over the place. He said that Mr. Quinn intimated to that. Now, Member Cassis sees that there once was commercial planned for the site. It has been changed from commercial to industrial. Also, a request for a change to B-2 is coming before the Planning Commission for the land across the street. He said that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee went along with that request, against his wishes. He asked if the corner was in a fluid situation.

Chair Kocan said that she thought Member Cassis was saying that he wanted to ensure that the Planning Commissionís rationale is steadfast to substantiate their desire in designating the land. He was asking whether past history sets a precedent? Everything in the City has been master planned. Chair Kocan knew that the property next to Meadowbrook Lake was planned for Light Industrial. The residents were told it didnít matter because the Master Plan is a changing document. It essentially holds no weight. It depends on who you have fighting for you at the time.

Mr. Gillam said that was accurate. The Master Plan is fluid and can be changed at any time. It provides a guide or basis for zoning decisions. Under certain circumstances zoning can be changed contrary to what the Master Plan says. As Member Cassis indicated, anyone with $100 can sue anyone he wants. That is the bottom line.

Member Cassis asked Ms. Schmitt a question regarding the spirit of the City Councilís review of this parcel. Ms. Schmitt responded that she felt it was an even split. Some thought it was okay to change it to commercial. Others were adamant about keeping it Light Industrial.

As a fail-safe situation, which is a change from how Member Cassis came to this meeting, he would now agree with Member Sprague. He said that the City should try to keep the situation open, rather than having it develop without the input of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission can limit the project and make it amenable to them, rather than having the plan go in a different direction and then the plan comes back in a combative manner between the Applicant and the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission then might not be able to get what it wants. He did not know if he was making himself clear, but he would prefer to keep this fluid, and try to get as many concessions and things that make them comfortable as the Planning Commission can. He wished to hear from his colleagues.

Chair Kocan said she would not support the Special Study because she believes that Light Industrial is the way to go. There is always the option for the Applicant to come in and request a change. Whenever people discuss Light Industrial, they discuss warehousing. Does the City want warehousing on Ten Mile? The Ordinance for Light Industrial includes a ton of designations: Office, research and development, manufacturing, data processing, industrial office sales, small shop repairs, a host of businesses. She would not support commercial, which was a request of the developer at one time, because the size of the property is too expansive for that particular location in the City on Novi Road. The traffic in that area is significant. The impact on the properties to the east must be considered. They canít get out of their residences now. One of the biggest concerns she has is the number of vacancies throughout Novi. She hoped that she wasnít crossing the line in discussing a site plan at this time. She asked whether the Planning Commission was charged with limiting a developer from taking risks? Should they look out for his best interests? On the other hand, the Planning Commission needs to look out for the best interests of the existing businesses in the City, to ensure that they remain healthy and viable. She supported Light Industrial next to the railroad track. Commercial is preferred to be on Grand River. This has come up numerous times. The question has been whether there should be a grocery store at Beck Road and Ten Mile. It got shot down; Beck and Eight Mile Ė shot down. The people wanted it on Grand River. Chair Kocan said she was going to support the designation that is proposed on the Master Plan.

Member Lipski said he chose to join the Planning Commission, partly because he felt the City shouldnít be doing things that were geared toward one agenda through the wrong medium. His motion was pretty simple. He asked this Planning Commission if they would vote to keep the Special Project designation and then they could move on to Item #18. He was not interested in debating a site plan that has been offered by a particular group. The Planning Commission may do so if they wish. He advised them, as a citizen of this community and having some legal background, that the Planning Commission told these people at the last meeting that their plan was being postponed. They were told that they would not be prejudiced by the decision made at this meeting. This would mandate that the Planning Commission push "pause" on items #16 and #17 today, and address them at a later time. He did not think that the Planning Commission could back peddle now, with the discussions of traffic, when the Traffic Consultant told the Planning Commission last time that there would be more than enough space on Ten Mile, and that it was being widened. Member Lipski did not know if Member Avdoulos was present at the last meeting, but if the Ten Mile information changed in the interim, Member Lipski would like to see the information. An expert told the Planning Commission that traffic wouldnít be a problem. All that the Planning Commission needs to decide at this meeting is whether this parcel should move forward as recommended on its face, or whether this area should be made a Special Project Area - so that it is temporarily put on pause - or some other alternative that is not on the floor. Member Lipski said that the Planning Commission has not yet voted on the motion to make it a Special Project Area, and at this point he would like that to happen.

Chair Kocan said she would not call for the vote until everyone has had an opportunity to discuss the issue.

Member Sprague said he supported the motion, but he wanted to be clear for the record that he agreed with Chair Kocan, that the Planning Commission did not make a formal commitment to the Applicant of support or prejudice. It was brought up and recognized as a good point. He actually put that in the motion and it was taken out. He did not think the Planning Commission was in a position of backtracking on the Applicant, if the Planning Commission were to agree with Member Avdoulosí and Chair Kocanís position. Either way the Planning Commission goes, they will not be reneging on any promises or backtracking on any commitments.

Member Avdoulos said that the motion has been made, it has been seconded and discussed. The Planning Commission is going to vote upon it. Discussion can be made on whether there is something on the table on the Master Plan and the Planning Commission has a request to change it. The Planning Commission is putting its comments forward, and whatever happens after that is going to be based on the vote. Member Avdoulos did review the documents, even though he didnít attend, and even though he is not prejudicing the project, he was looking at any type of commercial entity that can come and just basing his views on that. The vote will be forthcoming, and the Planning Commission will find out what happens after that.


Motion to designate Items #16 and #17as Special Project Areas, and designate the land within Novi Road and the boundary that would run south of the southeast corner of the Walgreens property to the northeast corner of the credit union as Office.

Motion carries 5-3 (Yes: Cassis, Gaul, Gutman, Lipski, Sprague; No: Avdoulos, Kocan, Pehrson).

#18 MSU Tollgate Farms in Section 11: Quasi-Public to Single Family

Chair Kocan said this MSU Tollgate property is currently on the map as Quasi-Public but this request is to put it back to Single Family with a density of .8. One City Council member had requested Office. The question was, why now? Chair Kocan said that perhaps that could be addressed Ė why should the Planning Commission remove the Quasi-Public designation? Ms. Schmitt said that the designation is a problem. As an example, when the Links of Novi requested to become Quail Hollow (Legacy Parc), there was no explanation for Quasi-Public, which leaves it open for different interpretations. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee wanted to put a designation on all of the Quasi-Public to something that made sense. By changing this property to Single Family with a .8 density, that gives the Planning Commission some flexibility. Historically, residential has been north of Twelve Mile and west of M5. That seemed to be keeping with that historical situation. Tollgate will likely be there forever, but if they decide to sell, a decision will have to be made about what the property would best be used for. It is a beautiful site. It is a key point when driving down Twelve Mile, as far as aesthetics are concerned. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee felt this designation would protect that for the future.

Member Cassis said that the farm is pristine and important. He would not want to see the land used any other way. He heard this land was given to MSU for decades. Mr. Schmitt said his understanding was that the Americana Foundation gave a 99 year lease, with a one term renewal option. Member Cassis said that the City is not facing anything imminent right now, except if MSU chooses to relinquish it for lack of funds or support. If this designation of residential will protect the area, Member Cassis would be for it. He would want to make sure that the farm is protected. He wanted it to remain as is, even if the City had to buy it if it goes on the market.

Member Sprague agreed. Its protection is important. Everyone would be happy if it remained as is. The question is what happens if MSU goes away. In looking at the Master Plan and Zoning Committee recommendation, he agreed with them that residential would preserve the land. But then he asked if it would be better preserved with City Councilís recommendation of Office. Whichever is best is how he would like to designate it. His concern with residential is that the Planning Commission can say they want it residential with a low density, but even if it is set up that way, a future request will not be to develop it that way. The people who buy it will want to put more homes on it. That is the truth. Every request before the Planning Commission is a request to increase density. He would hate to see this develop into a dense residential development. It goes against the plan. As Mr. Mutch said, the build out number continues to grow. If this goes residential and it gets more dense, the number is pushed again. When Member Sprague reaches this decision, it will be how to protect this land in the long run Ė is that best done through Office or Residential? He asked Ms. Schmitt what her opinion was. Ms. Schmitt replied that this would be best done with residential. If the City starts designating this property as Office, the property on the northeast corner of Twelve Mile and Meadowbrook will likely come in with an Office plan as well. Then, residential is pinned between two Office designations. Economically, Ms. Schmitt believed it would be more beneficial to the developer to develop the property as Office. With parking lot and building height and everything else, the aesthetics of the site would be lost, more so than with a .8 residential zoning. She said it was a hard call. Member Sprague asked if any other designations were available, but did not get a response. Member Sprague said that he would stick with the recommendation of the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, although he had concerns about density on the parcel.

Chair Kocan echoed Member Spragueís comments. She said a developer just came forward with the request for increased density on a property with Office in the front and Residential in the back. Her concern is that by naming this parcel Residential, should the Office designations be removed in a westerly designation? Her main concern was maintaining the .8 designation. She didnít think the City would ever be able to do it. That particular section as it goes north to Thirteen Mile could not have more people if the City tried. It is a particularly dense section of Novi. Fox Run is in there. Brightmoor is in there. She is concerned about the designation of residential. For her, she did not see "Quasi-Public" as that bad of a designation. She heard that the City is not as protected, but she asked to be convinced.

Mr. Schmitt said that he would answer, as he worked on the Wellington Ridge project next to this parcel. What the Staff found on that property, through Ms. McBethís work on the corner piece at Twelve Mile and Novi, the City was somewhat at a loss with the Quasi-Public/Cemetery designation. They could not rely on the Master Plan as a document to put forward in the zoning analysis. There was no guidance. They had to rely on the surrounding areas and the character of the area, as opposed to the Master Plan stating what the preference was for that property. Mr. Schmitt agreed that residential was a better choice. If one were to look up the road, one could see that it was very difficult to save the trees in Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park, which is an Office development. Giving an actual designation to the property gives the City the ability of stating there is a long standing policy on what the City would like to see for that property, and the Applicant should try to meet those terms.

Chair Kocan asked about the properties on the east side of Meadowbrook Road. They are also zoned R-A. On the Master Plan they have been given a density of .8. This would bring the Master Plan into conformance with the zoning.

Member Lipski agreed with the comments, but still wasnít able to agree with the comments about designating the property Public or Quasi-Public. There should be some sections of the City that should not be developed. He asked if that was an option Ė whether this property could always be considered for park, or park-type property. Member Lipski said it sounded like the City had to insulate itself with residential zoning, because in the future, the City would have less of a force without it.

Ms. McBeth said that there was some difficulty in the past, when reviewing a parcel deemed Quasi-Public, in determining what exactly those uses might be. The Master Plan doesnít follow the zoning districts exactly, but it is really kind of hard to tell what exactly is meant by the "Quasi-Public" designation. What falls under that category? A park? School? Cemetery? It could open up the land for use for a broader range of land uses than a residential zoning might.

Member Lipski asked if Residential, Office or Industrial ever conceivably fall into Quasi-Public. Ms. McBeth said that some of the uses allowed in the single family districts include parks and schools and cemeteries.

Member Lipski asked if the converse were true. If the land were master planned Quasi-Public could the City successfully keep housing from developing? Office? Industrial? Ms. McBeth said that was the difficulty.

Member Lipski said he did not know if the Cityís wishes could be accomplished. He knew this property very well. He would prefer to see this property remain as is. He would like to think that there was some kind of aesthetic preservation option available to municipalities.

Member Avdoulos said that idea came up quite a bit in association with this and other properties. There are other places like this around the City. Member Avdoulos thought the most interesting of these was the land between Eight Mile and Base Line Road, a large property with a big white house. He would like to see that property preserved as well. He would also like to see the Bosco Farm preserved. He would like to institute a policy whereby the City can find a way to contact these particular property owners to request that the property remain as is. It is very enticing to sell these properties, to gain dollars, but leaving some places in tact is beneficial as a whole. As everyone on the Staff has explained, this residential zoning is the best that the City can do to protect the Tollgate property now, but there might be other avenues that can be looked at in the future. Member Avdoulos said this was a fantastic corner lot, and it is obvious why it garners a lot of discussion. Nobody wants to see anything happen to it. He did not know if this was the best way to preserve it. If somebody offered them five billion dollars, they certainly would jump at it.

Member Cassis said it was coincidental that he just found a directive from the Parks and Recreation Commission to the City Manager, asking the City to offer to buy the Bosco property.

Member Cassis asked Mr. Gillam whether the Planning Commission could request that a statement be placed within the Master Plan document itself that states that the Planning Commissionís desire is for this property to remain in its pristine state. Mr. Gillam said that the text of the Master Plan could certainly include that language. It would just be a text change. Member Cassis suggested that the Planning Commission articulate a sentence or two to express that for inclusion into the document.

Member Sprague agreed. He would like it to be more than one or two sentences. He would like to see whatever can be done to maintain this property as is. He would like to add that if this property were ever to become residential, the .8 density is the maximum the property would ever be allowed. If the idea is to create a history of what that property is supposed to be, the Planning Commission should be as specific as possible. He said that every five years when the Master Plan is updated, the same two paragraphs should be added to the Master Plan.

Chair Kocan asked whether the Quasi-Public designation could remain on the Master Plan Map for Land Use, as long as the Master Plan text gave the description of the residential and density requirements. The language should state the City wishes to continue working with MSU to protect the resource and preserve the area. The Planning Commissionís intent is that this is a beautiful resource to the City. Mr. Gillam said that if the sense is the land is going to be developed, and the City believes that residential with a density of .8 is the way it should be developed, then he agreed with the Staff that it would be better to change the map, that this would be stronger than just adding language to the text. If the property remains Quasi-Public on the map, the intent is not as strong.

Chair Kocan suggested that the Planning Commission take a vote on whether the land should be designated from Quasi-Public to Single Family with a .8 density.

Member Avdoulos asked if the Master Plan language could include, "Öto preserve all natural and manmade features as they exist." Chair Kocan didnít think this was legal. She said that MSU was just leasing the property. Mr. Gillam said that the language of the Master Plan can indicate anything that the Planning Commission wants it to. For there to be something even more committal, the property owner would have to agree to something or sign a conservation easement, or the City would have to purchase the property.

Member Cassis said it seemed to make most sense to designate the land on the map as residential, and add language into the text. Member Cassis said that people review the founding fathersí debates to understand the meaning of the Constitution. In this case, the people can look back to this Master Plan to know what it was the Planning Commission meant. He wished to add language to the motion.

Member Lipski asked if the property could be designated as a park. Mr. Gillam said yes. Member Lipski asked if designating it as a park would be less risky than leaving it Quasi-Public. Member Lipski said that it seemed obvious that the Planning Commission was trying to find a way to keep this land from becoming a subdivision.

Mr. Gillam said that, as Mr. Schmitt had indicated, the Master Plan designation is important, but it still comes down to how the land is zoned, not master planned. If there is a determination that the designation of "Park" isnít appropriate, then a formal request is going to be granted regardless of what the designation is going to be.

Mr. Gillam said if the Planning Commission is asking how to guarantee that the land isnít ever going to be developed, that is not something the Planning Commission can do. He would like to tell them otherwise, but canít. Member Lipski said he understood that the Planning Commission couldnít restrain the owner 100%; he was just asking whether giving it a residential designation is really the best way Ė it suggests that the land should be developed. He thought that at least with the Park designation, that inference is not being made. With the Park designation, Member Lipski thought that would add another step to the developerís process. Mr. Gillam explained that the Master Plan designation would not stop his process as the zoning is residential.

Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Pehrson:


Motion to designate Item #18 (MSU Tollgate Educational Facility property, tax parcels 50-22-11- 400-005 and 50-22-11-400-006) from Quasi-Public to Residential with a density of .8, and to add text to the Master Plan document reflecting the Planning Commissionís desire to preserve all of the natural features of the property, and that any future residential development of this property not exceed the density of .8 units per acre.

Motion carried 8-0.

#19 Fox Run in Section 1: Single Family to PD-1 Land Use

This adjustment brings the Master Plan and zoning into conformance.

#20 Lenox Park in Section 1: Single Family to Multiple Family

Chair Kocan said that there was consensus.

#21 Fourteen Mile and M5 Property in Section 1: Single Family to Office

There was no discussion.

#22 North and South Grand River Properties abutting Meadowbrook Road in Section 24: Heavy Industrial to Town Center Gateway

This adds the northeast and southeast corners to the Gateway East designation. Chair Kocan said there was consensus.

#23 Core Preservation Area in Sections 29 and 30: Single Family Residential to Park

Chair Kocan said that there was consensus.

Other Issues

I-96 Rest Area

Chair Kocan asked to confirm that the rest area on I-96 has been removed and she wanted to ensure that nothing more needed to be done with this item. Ms. McBeth said that when a right-of-way is vacated it assumes the zoning of the adjacent parcel. This would likely be true of the Master Plan designation.

Eleven Mile and Beck Road

Chair Kocan asked about the southwest corner of Eleven Mile and Beck Road. The School District purchased this land, and she said that Mr. Andrew Mutch has asked that the land be shown as Educational property. This would notify future residents that there is a school-owned property on that corner. She has heard that the school system isnít really going to do anything with the corner, and she has also heard that the City needs another elementary school. She wondered if it behooved the City to show this land as Educational property if in fact that is what it is. Mr. Schmitt explained how the Staff has handled this issue in the past. The build-out analysis does not attribute a density to this property. The publicly owned land typically is not given a density. In the case of the MSU property, no density was given, but a statement of what could happen was provided in the text. The sanitary buildout analysis assigned the appropriate density based on the underlying zoning. Mr. Schmitt noted that this property once was considered for a second high school, and it may be under consideration for an elementary school but he has not heard this. Mr. Schmitt told the Planning Commission they could designate the parcel as an Educational property if they so desired.

Member Sprague asked whether one designation was preferable over the other. Ms. Schmitt said that the key words on the Master Plan are "Educational Facility" (not "Educational Property"); she cautioned the Planning Commission that the designation might be misleading. She iterated there are no plans.

Member Avdoulos noted that the Eight Mile-Garfield property is not yet an Educational Facility but is shown as such. Ms. Schmitt agreed and said that designation should also be considered for something else. Member Avdoulos said that it was important that the designation of school property be shown. In the case of Tuscany Reserve, because the Planning Commission was aware of the future Educational Facility plans for Eight Mile and Garfield, they were able to get the developer to create a school path for the children. Chair Kocan liked that the property stands out as Educational property.

Moved by Member Lipski, seconded by Member Avdoulos:


Motion to designate the Bosco parcel (tax parcel 50-22-20- 200-011) as an educational facility.

Motion carried 8-0.

Novi Road between Ten Mile and Grand River

Chair Kocan said that City Council asked the Planning Commission to look at Novi Road between Ten Mile and Grand River for a possible Entertainment Area designation. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee could not endorse that concept. Chair Kocan asked the Planning Commission if they felt that designation should in fact be considered. Member Pehrson said he thought that was inappropriate and he would not support the concept. Member Cassis said he did not understand the term "entertainment" and he felt that the term should be defined before the Planning Commission decides on the designation. Member Sprague agreed. He did not think that bars and restaurants should be placed south of the railroad tracks, south of Grand River. This might help the growth of the Main Street and Town Center areas.

Multi-Family in Section 17

Chair Kocan said that it was her understanding that a developer had requested this discussion, although she did not think that there was enough information on the subject for the Planning Commission to review. No one else on the Planning Commission wished to discuss it.

Cadillac Asphalt

Chair Kocan asked if this was part of the Special Study Areas. Mr. Schmitt said that it was. She said that someone had stated the land was best suited for B-2. It will be studied further.

Residential South of the Post Office

Chair Kocan said that a developer has asked for this consideration. It has not been discussed previously. Chair Kocan did not think that it should be discussed at this late hour. She said the developer could ask the City to continue the discussion.

The developer who asked for this consideration was Dan Mancuso, a gentleman who spoke during the first Audience Participation. The Chair allowed him to address the Planning Commission at this time. Mr. Mancuso said that he has a permanent non-conforming use for Heavy Industrial for this property. He has outside storage. His berms are in place, but the adjacent $600,000-$800,000 homes tower above the berms and it is not pretty. These 23.48 acres contain four acres of southerly woodlands. If this parcel develops as Office the woods would be in serious jeopardy. There is a lot of wildlife. On the north side of the property, a majority of the adjacency is the City parkland; the rest is the post office. Mr. Mancuso asked how to request a Special Project Area for this land. He has been looking for a different use for his property for the last fifteen years, realizing that the area has become very residential. The property to the west is single family. The property further north went from Office to Arbor Drugs. He had meetings with the City in October, after a wealth of interest in his property occurred. He said he has been a good corporate member of the community for 28 years. He has never had a violation with the City. He has received awards for his landscaping, but he cannot do anything more in the back.

Mr. Schmitt said that there are four narrow parcels south of the post office that create the subject property. Ms. McBeth pointed at the map to show the Planning Commission members where the property was located. Mr. Mancuso explained how his property is laid out. Ms. McBeth said that the map did not go far back enough for the Planning Commission members to see where Churchill Crossings is located. Ms. McBeth said that the corner of Ten Mile and Novi is B-3, and Office uses are to the north.

Member Sprague asked what the Novi Road Corridor Study recommended for these parcels. Ms. McBeth said that no change was recommended to the Office designation already slated.

Member Cassis asked whether a new owner of the property would also be able to use the land for Heavy Industrial. Ms. McBeth said she would have to look at the transaction, but likely, the use would be allowed as legally non-conforming.

Member Sprague was sympathetic to Mr. Mancuso, but he did not feel as though there was enough information to consider making a change to the Master Plan right now. Member Sprague thought that the request should go to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee. Member Sprague said that approving the Master Plan in its proposed form would not preclude the Master Plan and Zoning Committee from reviewing Mr. Mancusoís plan and considering a different use, and approving it if it made sense under closer scrutiny.

Chair Kocan said that the problem with the request was that there were no other residential properties that opened onto Novi Road on that entire stretch of road. She said that the Staff needs plenty of time to look at this concept, and it did not behoove the City to consider changing the Master Plan at this time.

Member Lipski said this request was unique. He said that the designation on Mr. Mancusoís land is not changing with this Master Plan; it is remaining as it has already been designated. Member Lipski said that because this land does abut Residential to the west, he would entertain looking further into this requested change, as he is a fan of cleaning up Industrial properties adjacent to Residential. He asked that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee make an earnest attempt at hearing what Mr. Mancuso has to say. He recommended that the Planning Commission move forward, as the record has made note of Mr. Mancusoís request.

Twelve Mile Boulevard

Chair Kocan asked whether Twelve Mile should be designated as a boulevard in the Master Plan. Mr. Schmitt said he did not know whether the actual design of the road needed to be indicated; the road is designated as an arterial road, which is the appropriate designation.

Beck Road

Chair Kocan said she thought Northville had requested that Beck Road be designated as a boulevard. Ms. Schmitt said that it was determined by the Traffic Consultant and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to forego this. In the past these designations were placed on the map, and right-of-ways were not procured so things didnít come to fruition, and people were expecting those plans to happen. Therefore, just the type of roads has been designated on this plan, not the design type. Ms. McBeth said this was an issue that City Council will be discussing in the near future.

Scenic Drives

Chair Kocan said a comment was made that the scenic drives should be removed from the plan. Ms. Schmitt said she disagreed with that comment.

Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Pehrson:

Motion to adopt the Resolution Approving the 2004 Master Plan for Land Use with the amendments from this eveningís meeting.


Mr. Gillam recommended that the dates in the Master Plan be corrected; he suggested: "Ö the Master Plan for Future Land Use dated December, 2004, including a Future Land Use Map dated December, 2004." This would be included on page two, in the paragraph beginning with, "Now, therefore, it is resolved." Member Sprague and Member Pehrson agreed to the inclusion of the language.


Motion to adopt the Resolution Approving the Master Plan for Future Land Use dated December, 2004, including a Future Land Use Map dated December, 2004, with the amendments from this eveningís meeting, and changing the dates ("September" and "February 24") on the second page of the Resolution (in the paragraph beginning, "Now, therefore, it is resolved") to "December."

Motion carried 8-0.


There were no Consent Agenda Removals.


There were no Matters for Discussion.


There were no Matters for Discussion.


No one from the audience wished to speak.


Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Cassis:

Motion to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 11:25.p.m.












Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, May 2, 2005 Signature on File

Date Approved: May 25, 2005 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date